Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Compartmentalized

There are a lot of people out there blogging about pregnancy - about the cocoon, the space, the haven of it. I have never experienced it like that. Not before my miscarriage, not with either of my girls, and not now. I am moving closer to it, I think, spending time paying attention to the small movements I feel, and just holding my belly as I lie in bed at night, trying to relax, or wind down, or whatever. But it's still all the same issue (of course). I feel torn in too many directions at once. I know I've talked about compartmentalization before, and I am not very much in favor of living life that way, but this "feeling," this way of being with the unborn baby is something that sounds so good, so peaceful, so much like what I am looking for. And yet, I still don't take time for myself. I still deny myself any privilege, either as a person or as a pregnant woman. Why? Is it because in my community, pregnant women are a dime a dozen, and this isn't my first child, after all, never mind that I didn't do it then? I don't think that's it.

I believe that the issue is one of compartmentalization, and my inability to get the hang of it. Why? Well, I can't just be with a baby who hasn't even arrived yet when the other kids need a bath, the floor hasn't been swept, all the toys are all over the place, dinner hasn't been planned, my husband wants my attention, and I'm behind on work. And so many other things, too. And of course, my family and work have to be a priority... So, where do I fit in? Where does the unborn baby, clamoring already for attention, fit in? And how do any of these relationships really work? People will tell you it's about giving. But, I either give so much that I get burnt out, or I neglect to give because I'm worried about burning out. The answer is that I need to take the time for myself, and when better to do this than now, just halfway through a third pregnancy, about to go on a three-week vacation where my relatives want to go out with me and treat me? Why not let them? Part of the reason for this vacation is my birthday, after all...

But, about compartmentalization (because this entry is rambling off somewhere else, so I'm trying to bring it back to where I want it to be), on the one hand, it seems that this cocoon of pregnancy, this chrysalis is something all-encompassing. It's something that takes over the life of the pregnant woman until she gives birth, or even later than that... But on the other hand, it seems imperative to let go of everything else in order to make the space for the baby and for myself, to push everything else aside, off the table. And that is what seems so difficult for me. I can't push everything else aside because I'm worried about never coming back to it. I'm worried about losing track of how many doors I've closed and suddenly realizing that I've neglected some other priority. And those priorities are real, are things that can't be ignored - we need them. I need to be there for my children and my husband (not that I can be, if I'm not there for myself, but that'll be my next post). I need to work. I need to clean the house. So many things just need to be done by me - how do I make/have the time for all of them? Ahh, something to reflect upon while on vacation.

4 Comments:

At 12:12 PM, Blogger marybeth said...

Hi
I noticed you linked to my last blog entry. I wanted to respond to your recent post (this one) because I think it's so important.

First, when I read your words here, I feel like you are actually doing just what you think you aren't. We all move inward in someway to our babies and pregnant being in our OWN way, in the way the baby wants. SOmetimes we don't even notice we do it. Because you even ponder your experiences, I think that you are experiencing exactly how you need, what you need. You question, you feel, you express. Isn't that moving within? Being part of the whole process? It may not seem like an insular bubble to you, but because you and the life within are totally the same at this point, how can you not journey inward to live, even for moments?

Another thing I heard you say is that about 'pushing' away the rest of our lives while experiencing this cocoon like-state. I don't think we push away. I don't think it's conscious in the least bit. I think it just happens. I spend a lot of time struggling and fighting natural processes, but in this baby-making one, I can't fight it. it just happens. It's not about ignoring everything else, it's about accepting where the tide brings me, and for me that just means a lot of stillness...in general I am a busy-body and right now I just can't be, nothing inside me will let me be. I don't stop the rest of my life, but the rest of my life slows down very, very much. Or so I perceive it to.

I think you writing here is important. Keep asking these questions. I appreciate it.

peace
mb

 
At 1:21 PM, Blogger SS said...

MB, thank you so much for coming over here and for your thoughtful comments... I guess I just feel like the rest of my life is pushing in on the inner space I'm trying to inhabit. Maybe that's a better way of putting it. I wish I didn't have to work all day, and working from home can really be difficult in a time like this, because concentration is so difficult. Anyway, yes. The questioning and the questing are slowly, slowly finally coming back. It's hard work, and that's another reason I'm not just "being." But I don't want it to be one more of those things where I put it off until it's too late... That's the crux of what I was getting at. My next post will be about taking time for myself and my guilty feelings about it.

 
At 12:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 8:00 AM, Blogger Elie said...

Though of course I've never been pregnant :-}, I understand the tendency to never take time for yourself because of all the other people's needs that need to be met. In stories, people who live like that are always viewed as saints, but in reality it can lead to resentment, burnout and depression. A good way to put it, as I've often heard, is that if you don't take care of yourself, you can't really take care of others.

I know, easier said than done. I'm glad you've gotten back into blogging though. Maybe the time on the blog can feel like something just for "you"?

 

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